Thursday, December 31, 2015

Paris 2015

I have been on holidays (vacation to my USA friends/readers) in Europe and England for the past 6 weeks. The quote on this layout is appropriate.  Why?
A week before we (my sister and I) were due to fly out to Paris, terrorism struck that beautiful city. Of course, we had some hesitation - should we go, what were are options if we pulled out, would our Trafalgar Tour still go ahead (it did) - more about that in later posts.
In the end, we decided to go - take the chance and not let terrorism be the winner. 
This photo was taken at sunset from one of the bridges over the Seine River near our hotel. Quite a special moment.
The papers and most of the embellishments I have had in my stash for ages, I just gathered up everything that I thought would co-ordinate.
Happy new year to all who read my blog, more layouts to come.
Thank you for looking - and remember we only regret the chances we didn't take.
Margaret :)

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Christmas small quilt

Well, what weather have we been having here in Australia - on 13th November hail, 20th November was the 2nd hottest November day in history, and today cool verging on cold.  Add to that telecommunication access problems - no local phone no internet since 12th it has been an interesting time - did get back today.
I was at a local art exhibition and I rescued an old patchwork kit and I made this - it will be donated.  Now, if I could only draw faces they would be smiling -  I am practicing and will have it down pat before I hand it over next year.
I want to share with you some of the photographs from the recent hailstorm we experienced.  It was short and savage.  The leaves you see are from stripped trees in my yard and from a gum tree 2 houses over!!!
 A pool of water also congregated and had fun ruining my plants. 
Here you can really see the hail coming down. I opened the door to take the photo and was hit on the hand with a piece of flying hail.   No damage to me and luckily no damage to any windows or glass tables!
Oh well, some of the trees got a good pruning, some I think I will lose and I definitely lost some begonias - the melting snow (oops I mean hail) turned them to mush!!!
I wonder what tomorrow will bring, thanks for looking,  Margaret

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Recycled Treasures

An urgent call out was given for craft goodies for a street stall this Thursday, to raise funds for a school in Kenya.   Here are some decorative bottles I put together this morning.  My sister had the bottles (they are about 2.5" in height and width), maybe old ink bottles that we got from a recycled place here on The Coast.  I have used wooden buttons, papers, lace and ribbon from my stash with some distress ink to age the edges. 
 Close up - there is six of each design. The bottles are a green colour.
Aren't they cute!!!  Thanks for looking,  Margaret.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

More getting ready!

Today, I completed another layout ready to put photos on when I return from holidays......coming soon.  This was completed for another challenge over at The Memory Nest - Make it Monday 49.
Here is another great sketch that can be interpreted so many ways.:
I have kept mine rather simple. It is still raining and overcast here today and I could not take the photo outside so there is a little brightness to the left side of the layout that is not there in real life.  I still had on my table the Echo Park Getaway range of papers that I used yesterday, so no-brainer to go with these papers.   I will put title and more embellishments once I have the photos on the layout.   I wonder what fabulous part of the world I will take some photos for this layout - somewhere opulent?  Somewhere baroque? 
Thank you for looking, why not head over to The Memory Nest and try their sketches yourself?
Cheers, Margaret :)

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Not long now until Paris!!!

I am getting a tad excited - my European holiday very shortly.  Christmas markets in Europe, now what is not to like about that.   The tour starts in Paris so I am getting some pages ready for my photos when I return - I know organised - but hey that is me!
It is cold and wet here on the Central Coast today, so what a better reason to get some layouts completed.  This one is for a challenge over at The Memory Nest Make it Monday No.48.
Here is the sketch, thanks Leslie for another fabulous sketch:

I have used some of my stash of Project Life cards and a fabulous paper range called "Getaway" by Echo Park.  
Now all I need is to go >>>>>>> take photos  >>>>>>> print photos >>>>>>>adhere to layout >>>>>>journal.
Thanks for looking,  Margaret :)

Monday, November 2, 2015

Run Margaret Run!!! Run Fast !!!

I am getting an early start on a challenge over at Pixels and Paper.  In October we were at Red Rock, NSW and my sister and I went for a walk along the beach, soon after arriving. I stopped to look at the beautiful vistas when all of a sudden in came a wave, I saw it just in time and run for dear life!!!   My sister not so lucky she ended up standing in the water, clicking away and laughing at the same time!!!
Here is a close up of the tag I made.  I used 2 blue distress stains, Antique Linen Distress stain then I sponged Antique Photo over it to get a sand like appearance.  White embroidery thread to represent the waves and some pearls and rhinestones for bling.
Here is this months inspiration photo from Pixels and Paper - tell us how you were inspired by the photo.  Can you see my inspiration?
NOVEMBER inspiration ...
I took the design aspect and created a sketch layout. I then put my 4 photos across the top.  Below the photos is my tag where the large sofa is, the Sun, Surf and Sand sticker for the flower on the table and twine representing the coir mat.  Can you see my final inspiration - bottom left I put stickers loosely in the shape of the white chair.
All papers (ex tag) are from Kaisercraft Sandy Toes range - I must say I love all the elements in this range. 
Thank you for looking, Margaret

Monday, October 26, 2015

J'y retournerai - I will return

Bonjour - this layout is for a challenge over at Pixels and Paper. Why not join in you have until end of October to submit a layout.
We were to be inspired by this photo and the criteria was anything goes but tell us how the photo inspired you:
OCTOBER inspiration
Big Ben in London is an iconic building just like the Eiffel Tour (yes that is right in French tower is tour).    I have kept my layout rather clean and simple.
I took the photograph on my last visit to Paris, nearly 2 years ago.  I have had this photo where I could see it since then - why?  The colours, the trees, the iconic Eiffel Tour, and the statue of the man riding the horse just seems to say "I will return" or as the French would say J'y retournerai.
The die-cut is from Die-namics. 
Very shortly I will be taking off for another holiday that includes Paris and my camera is at the ready.
Thank you for looking.   Margaret :)

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Blind Scrap

What is a blind scrap?  Well,  you are given a list of things needed to complete a layout and then instructions to complete your layout. This weekend Scrap Girls Retreats  hosted one that you could do at home.  
 The list of things/instructions needed was -
  • 1 12" x 12" cardstock as your base
  • 1 12" x 12" patterned paper (cut about 1/2' off and then cut into 2/34" strips)
  • 1 9" x 4" patterned paper
  • 3 buttons (tied, of course)
  • 1 large die-cut or flowers
  • 1 piece of lace or similar
  • 1 strip for journaling
  • alphas for title
  • sequins for sparkle
  • 2 x small doilies or similar
Breaking of rules is okay...........I deviated by not using lace and using ric-rac and twine (lace would just not be appropriate for this layout) no flowers and no doilies but I did use die-cuts. 
The paper and die-cuts are from Kaisercraft Sandy Toes range. 
The photos of my sister were taken at Red Rock, NSW when we visited there in late September/early October this year.  They were taken not long after we arrived (in our winter clothes as it was cold in Sydney when we left) and we headed straight for the beach for a walk to get the sea air into our lungs.  We had both been sick prior to arriving - my sister for over 15 weeks, so a walk on the beach was just what was ordered.
Thank you for looking, enjoy your day.   Margaret :)

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Cards made with some of my favourite stamp sets

Do you have stamp sets that you just can't part with?  I do and one of them is this Beautiful Season set from Stampin' Up! (SU)  I think it is long retired but I love it - and with colouring all the rage now why not sit and colour in and de-stress at the same time.
And a recent set from SU is called Butterfly Basics (with co-ordinating butterfly dies) and I have used recently retired in-colours.  The small butterfly uses a punch and I have added some antique ribbon top left.  I love how feminine I was able to make the card.  The background was inspired by a card by Lisa Cornwall that I found whilst blog surfing.
Thank you for looking, have a great weekend, Margaret :)

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Christmas 2015 is coming - get ready make some cards

Here is a card I made today - I used a Die-namics die called contempo cage (and bird).  The embossing folder is an old Stampin'Up! (r) one called Petals-a-Plenty.  I love how non-Christmas themed items can be used to create a seasonal card.   Too cute.....
Thank you for looking,  Margaret :)

Tic Tac Toe layout

I created this layout for a Tic Tac Toe challenge over at Soul Scrappers - here is the board:

I chose -  your favourite colour (pink of course, some of the papers, 'discover' which I painted with alcohol pens and small embellishments) - photo of yourself (taken at a lookout overlooking Palm Beach behind me) and embossing (embossing folder stars).
Challenge is due today - so I am running very close to the wind in getting this one in - in fairness I did complete this nearly two weeks ago and have just realised I have not submitted it.
Thank you for looking,  Margaret :)

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Recycled Treasures

I have made these pin and needle holders to donate and raise funds for a friend's son who is a missionary in Kiev.  He and his family are largely self funded by his parent's here in Australia.  
The doilies I find for usually a small amount of cash - I usually don't spend more than 75c for the small ones- often they have holes, marks etc on them.  A good soak in nappy wash and they are as good as new.  The one on the left is hand stitched and I have added beads and flowers from another old doily, the green leaves were the buttonhole stitch around the edge of that piece.  The one of the right is machine embroidered and I have added some silk ribbon (again rescued) and scissor charm I have had in my stash for YEARS.
Inside - a piece of quilt wadding stitched. 
I am sure quilters and embroiderers will love them. What do you think?  I loved them so much I went out to the local op shop and got a few more to be done before I deliver them next week.
Thanks for looking.   Margaret :)

Thursday, September 24, 2015

In my garden

Here is a layout I have created for Soul Scrappers Challenge called "In the Garden".  You may recall that yesterday I posted some photos of the beautiful Bird of Paradise flowers that are growing in my garden.
We were posted a selection of items to be used on the layout - and here they are.
Now what did I do with them? Will firstly I used the two die cut flowers as stencils onto white cardstock with Gelatos that I had shaved and made into a liquid with warm water. I also flicked some of the liquid onto the cardstock.  This I then cut down to a 11.5" square and distressed the edges (not shown) and placed onto blue cardstock.
I deconstructed the vanilla burlap (hessian) and soaked it the diluted solution.
The flowers and mini-cup cake after stenciling and additional painting with remaining liquid.
I then painted with acrylic paint the wood pattern paper with a mixture of white and yellow. The fabric butterfly I also painted with acrylic paint. I created a tag by painting with the Gelato liquid, by now just the dregs remained but love how much texture it gave, I then applied glue down side and literally threw on the beads (to which I had added some extra that I had to give more colour and bring in the blue more).
On the supplied wavy ribbon I added some blue bugle beads and the remainder of the beads supplied.
I then played around with how it should all come together and I am pleased with the result.  I love the tag and the beading on the wavy ribbon.
One last photo with my layout resting on the planter that houses the Strelitza Reginae. 
Thanks for looking and I hope you enjoyed reading about how I came to create this layout.  Have a great day.   I am feeling much better today - still have the cold but not coughing as much, hooray!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

A couple of challenges completed - yay!!

A layout I have completed (yes, I know it is not the one referred to in my previous post of today - that is for later today after I have recharged the camera) and have posted to a couple of challenge sites that I love....
The first is from Artastic challenge blog and we were to be inspired by the following photo:
SEPTEMBER inspiration
I was inspired by the water scene and village in the background.  I searched my photos and whatever picture files I was in, the photo of Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco was the last on the list.  It is a photo I took when I was there in 1998.   It had the bridge with its span shaped like a sailing boat and it had the view of San Francisco in the background.   I also used the corrugated paper to tie in with the wire suspensions of the bridge.  The patterned paper I used as it had baroque type designs on it reminiscent of Arabian influences.   I coloured some chipboard and added sequins for sparkle.
The next challenge was from The Memory Nest and their Make it Monday Sketch Challenge No. 47:
I flipped the sketch and used a 5" x 7" photo that I printed out at home on some old Stampin'Up! (r) Shimmery White Paper - I no longer think this is available and I had never used it.   In the sun it has a glimmer and unfortunately I could not capture this in my photos. Never mind I have used it for other photos I have printed recently and hopefully I will get a good photo of the shine for you. 
Close up of some of the embellishments.
Thank you for looking, I hope you have a beautiful day. Margaret :)
p.s. forgot to mention (blame my cold for that) that I also have been playing around with Gelatos recently - and I made a liquid by shaving some orange Gelato into warm water and diluting to the strength I wanted by mixing with a brush.   I then took a dry brush and flicked it onto the corrugated paper.  

How can you not feel well when you see these photos?

I have not been feeling well for the past week, just this 'coughy' thing that has been going around this winter/spring.  Today I opened the curtains in my second bedroom and saw this beautiful Strelitzia Reginae (Bird of Paradise)I have growing just outside the window. I played around with filters, on the photo program, so that the sun was not the absolute focal point
Another view, I bought the flower down out of the beautiful sun we are experiencing today. Don't be fooled by the sun - it is bitterly cold and windy outside today.
I have always been fascinated by these flowers, in fact, I designed a cross stitch on black Aida Cloth many years ago when I was completing Advanced Commercial Needlecraft Certificate with TAFE.
Now, I have not felt like creating anything lately (or doing much else I must say) however I have a challenge on my desk that needs completing - so I may have just found my inspiration here.
Stay tuned.  Thanks for looking, enjoy your day.  
Margaret :) yes I am still smiling.....

Friday, September 11, 2015

Cards - 9 patch style and a Waratah or two.

Two 6inch cards I have created with different colours and ribbons..   So feminine and pretty.
 Here are both cards with closer detail.
It is a beautiful day here on The Central Coast of New South Wales, Australia and I took a drive down to Patonga to check out the beautiful Waratah flowers and other wildflowers. Are they not the most beautiful flowers you have seen today?   I went with an elderly neighbor who is turning 92 shortly and she loved the drive and the fish and chips we had when we got to Patonga.

The Waratah, Telopea speciosissima, is the official floral emblem of New South Wales. They are protected plants and heavy fines apply to those who pick them. 

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Keep calm & ......................

I have completed this layout for challenge over at Challenge YOUself.
The challenge was to create a layout as shown below:
Now, I have never mastered this taking a selfie thing - I suppose this one, that I took earlier this year, comes the closest to one I am happy with. 
The alphas I die cut first in pink and then as they did not stand out, I shadowed them with black cardstock:
I have taken the photo tonight and it does not really do the pink colours justice, however I wanted to get challenge in as it finishes on 4th September.
Thank you for looking and take a selfie today.   Margaret :)

Heritage/Vintage Scrapbooking

A number of people have been asking me about how to go about doing a heritage/vintage scrapbooking layout.  Here is one I have completed today.  The photo shows my mother (centre), my maternal grandmother (left) and my paternal grandmother (right) taken on my parent's wedding day.
I was inspired by a layout I saw on Pinterest by Unfortunately, the link to the layout is not current and I was unable to leave some love for the original designer, but I did leave a comment on Pinterest. Thank you goes to them.
The next step was to go through my stash of papers looking for papers suitable for the layout.  As a general rule you should avoid bright colours on vintage layouts.  Also suitable embellishments - go to town you can use lace, flowers, doilies, buttons, ribbon, brads the list is endless and you can customize to suit the photo.   I found the shoe paper and immediately thought of both grandmothers as they always wore lace up sturdy shoes even on this day.  Tearing and distressing with ink are also  suitable to go to town on.   The quote I found on-line "Remembering is the key".
I love it - what do you think?
Thank you for looking, Margaret :)

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Fireworks and a challenge

Here is a layout I have completed today for a challenge over at Pixels and Paper challenge blog:
And here is the inspiration photo:
The criteria was anything goes but tell us how you were inspired by the photo. I found this challenge a challenge (if that makes sense) I did not have any wintery type photos, and certainly  had none that featured an umbrella.  Okay, Margaret do not be so literal.   I went for a black and white background - that if you look closely could be rain!! I had a photo taken New Years Eve this year (technically 31st December, 2014), it was a dull and overcast evening,  looking towards Gosford from Koolewong (on the Central Coast of New South Wales) and so I decided that I would put strips of brightly coloured paper down to resemble the large firework burst on the photo.  It was looking a bit flat so I wet the ends of the strips and wrapped around a toothpick to curl the ends.  See close-up below.  I have not been precise with my placement of the strips as if you look at the large firework again it is not even (that is my excuse and I am sticking to it).
I love how I was able to get the curls going every which way - just like as they were exploding in the sky.  My ever faithful Stampin'Up! Designer Series paper came out again.
Thank you for looking, why not head over to their blog and submit a layout - all entries regardless of your experience have an opportunity to win some prizes.   Margaret :)


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